rendering of a plush Hotel Indigo resort being built
in Indio, Calif., is expected to cater to attendees
of music festivals, golf tournaments and other
events in the Coachella Valley. Among its features
will be a 10,000-square-foot, chilled saltwater pool
and group lodging, where casitas with as many as six
private rooms will share...
year, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and its
sister country music event bring hundreds of thousands of
revelers to the desert, far from the trendy restaurants,
hotels and other attractions in a resurgent Palm Springs,
a developer group with a celebrity pedigree is building a
sprawling 35-acre resort featuring a hip hotel that will
not only cater to the hugely popular festivals but serve
as a recreation attraction in its own right — and help
develop the east end of the Coachella Valley into more of
a year-round destination.
resort is close to the Empire Polo Club, where Coachella
and the Stagecoach Festival are held, but will have its
own 11-acre, grass-covered "playground" to host
music events, wellness retreats and corporate or other
private events, said Steve Bram of George Smith Partners,
who arranged construction financing.
developers, he said, include Los Angeles real estate
investor Stuart Rubin and L.A. entertainment lawyer Gary
Stiffelman, who has represented Lady Gaga, Eminem and
Justin Timberlake, according to Bloomberg.
centerpiece of the resort will be an 10,000-square-foot
Las Vegas-style party pool filled with chilled saltwater
so it doesn’t overheat on hot days. Flanking it will be
two-, four- and six-bedroom casitas that have shared
living rooms and social areas for entertaining but private
entrances and bathrooms.
pool will have a DJ stage and a catwalk in the middle
where models may strut, he said, with "a big cocktail
the Indigo’s features will be a spa, a gym and a yoga
studio. There will also be a restaurant, a general store
and a coffee shop. A marijuana dispensary recently opened
adjacent to the hotel.
resort’s public buildings, including its conference
space, were designed to evoke Quonset huts, Bram said, the
humble semicircular structures mass-produced during World
War II that were once common in the desert.
conceptual design of the hotel is so out of the box and so
unique that the lender just fell in love," said Bram,
who declined to name the bank.
250 guest rooms will operate under the flag of the Hotel
Indigo, a chic "lifestyle" brand of United
Kingdom-based InterContinental Hotels Group. A Hotel
Indigo recently opened at downtown Los Angeles’ $1
billion Metropolis residential project.
on the hotel began this year and is expected to be
completed in the fall, in time for the desert’s high
season. Its estimated price tag is $45 million.
arrival of such an upscale resort where guests can come
for business retreats or unwind for several days "has
been a long time coming" to Coachella, said Gabriel
Martin, the city’s economic development manager.
will also be the only major hotel actually in Coachella
— other nearby inns such as the Indian Palms Country
Club & Resort are in Indio.
hotel will provide new revenue and employment for the
working-class city of 48,000, Martin said. Coachella
supported the project financially by agreeing to a 50-50
split in the hotel’s bed taxes with the owners for 20
years or as much as $25 million, whichever occurs first.
city is also allowing the resort to hold events until 4
a.m. after requiring the developers to build a
12-foot-high wall to shield its concert space from
neighbors, Bram said.
hopes more resorts will join the Indigo in Coachella.
now we’re trying to capitalize on the market that is out
there," he said. "We are really looking for
potential development that can have a similar
large-scale resort project is a sign of extended economic
growth in the Riverside County valley, which includes such
population centers as Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage and Palm
Desert. The valley has a deep tourism and convention base,
offering 125 golf courses and more than 600 tennis courts.
the beginning of the decade, the valley was still
suffering an economic hangover from the Great Recession’s
mortgage crisis, but it has recovered in recent years with
help from tourists and new hotels to serve them, said Joe
Wallace, chief executive of the Coachella Valley Economic
Partnership, a trade group.
has been a glut of hotel-building going on across the
valley," he said.
of that has been in Palm Springs, which has had a
resurgence in the last decade among visitors too young to
remember when Frank Sinatra and other celebrities of his
day made the desert hip and helped create the midcentury
architectural vibe it is known for.
Springs has about 44,000 residents, but more than 2
million travelers a year pass through its airport and
millions more arrive by car from around Southern
California, Wallace said.
of them are heading to the music festivals at the opposite
end of the valley that have grown larger year by year,
filling hotels, restaurants and bars and giving a lift to
retailers, he said.
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival drew about
100,000 people each of its two weekends in April —
pushing attendees to spend lavishly if they want to stay
pretty much anywhere in the valley.
can command premium prices during about 10 prime days in
festival season, Wallace said, which is similar to
Christmas season for retail merchants.
you can get $500 a night for a room that’s normally
$69," he said, "that’s like having it rented
out for a week."
musical events have achieved international fame and
boosted travel to the desert, hotel sales broker John
Strauss of JLL said.
the last five years, the Coachella Valley "has become
the music festival capital of the world," Strauss
said, "creating a lot of market buzz regionally,
nationally and globally."
events such as golf and tennis tournaments draw big
crowds, he said, and snowbirds from Canada and cold states
such as Minnesota visit during the fall and winter to bask
in the heat.
millions who live in Southern California, the desert is an
accessible weekend getaway.
has reached a point where construction of major hotels
such as the Indigo in the Coachella Valley makes economic
sense, Strauss said.
nightly rates for hotels with more than 200 rooms were
$342 to $349 in April, up more than 5 percent from the
same period last year, according to CBRE.